Ron Howard is no stranger to Academy voters as 1995’s Apollo 13 was his first effort to nab a Best Picture nomination. Six years later in 2001, A Beautiful Mind won the big prize as did the former child star for his direction. It’s been nearly a decade and a half since Frost/Nixon and that was his last title to compete for BP.
On paper, Thirteen Lives looks like a contender. On the flip side, so did Hillbilly Elegy two years ago and it only managed a Supporting Actress nod for Glenn Close and Makeup and Hairstyling.
Following its limited release on July 29th, Lives streams on Amazon beginning August 5th. The true life survival tale recounts the events of the Tham Luang cave rescue of 2018. Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell, and Joel Edgerton costar. Early reviews are decent but perhaps a tad deceiving. The current 90% Rotten Tomatoes rating masks the fact that several critics claim it’s merely serviceable. While it might be a crowdpleaser, the initial reaction leads me to think voters won’t take the bait.
There’s lots of mentions of last year’s documentary The Rescue which covered the same subject matter. That film surprisingly missed the cut for Documentary Feature. It won’t be unexpected when Thirteen Lives misses Best Picture. Perhaps a tech nod (Sound?) could materialize. I wouldn’t count on it. In my Sunday update, I had Lives listed in the Other Possibilities section for Picture, Actor (Mortensen), Supporting Actor (Farrell), and screenplay. Don’t be surprised if they all fall out of contention in my next update. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…